Limit [100 words]

Purple sky man building

He had reached his limit, and beyond, and was ready to end it all for good, since the toll of working with utter soulless monsters had extracted the last penny of his tolerance.

But if the universe sent him a sign, any kind of sign, then maybe, possibly he could summon up a speck of fortitude and go back–right then, a fuzzy bee landed on his nose and flew away.

Assuming the bee was a sign, he turned around, walked down the roof access stairs, trudged across the hall to the classroom, and resumed teaching math to high schoolers.

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales.

Midnight Hour [pass the baton challenge]

sexy fishnet legs

Midnight Hour

Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand*”

She finished lacing up her thigh high leather heeled boots. Standing up, she did a once over in the floor length mirror, checking to make sure that her short skirt was short enough that despite the height of her boots, there was plenty of skin between the hem of the skirt and the top of the boots. She did a quick wiggle to make sure the skirt didn’t ride up too high, and that the rest of her stayed where it was supposed to within the confines of her dress. Satisfied, she grabbed her jacket and headed out.

As she walked down the street, she could feel the goosebumps break out all over her body, although she didn’t know why. It was just a normal night, just like any other, and there was nothing out of the ordinary. She pushed the uneasy feeling aside, and took her spot on the side of the street, waiting for her shift to begin. Marla’s Part)

Sadje’s contribution;

Her unease increased as time passed. She had just one passerby ask her for the merchandise which she provided but the payment was still pending.

Suddenly the air was full of loud screams. Someone was in severe agony or frightened out of their wits. She grabbed her bag which had all the merchandise in it and made for the taxi stand. Before she could hail the taxi coming from the other side, she was blinded by the halogen lights of a fast-approaching car towards her.

She opened her mouth to scream when……

Jim’s contribution;

… she recognized her favorite customer pulling up in his Rolls Royce limousine.  The driver slowed down and stopped right next to Vivian Ward and Edward Lewis rolled down the rear window and said, “Honey, I need an escort for this social event, do you want to have fun tonight?”  Vivian’s eyes lit up and she said, “Open the door and I will go anywhere with you, as I know you won’t try to stiff me.”  Edward replied, “Did one of your clients try to take advantage of you?  You should think about getting a manager to handle your transactions.”  Vivian said, “I had a pimp once and I don’t want any man owning me again, so I work for myself.”  Edward told her that tonight was not going to be like work, as they were going to a costume party, and he would pay her $500 an hour as long as she didn’t embarrass him.  Edward was dressed in a Batman costume, and he handed Vivian $1,500 and asked her if she had someplace to store that.  Vivian replied, “I have my hiding spots, but you will need to pay me more to see them.”  The driver parked in front of this large mansion and said, “Sir, we have reached our destination.”

Di’s Contribution;

Vivian tried hard not to show her surprise. She knew this property and was surprised that Edward moved in these circles.
‘Coming?’ he asked having got out of the vehicle and was holding the door for her.
She adjusted her attire, wishing she’d chosen her long leather coat rather than her skimpy jacket.
‘Don’t worry. It’s not a themed party for superheroes or anything. Just a bit of fun to convince everyone I’m not the stuffed shirt they think I am. Just relax!’
They walked straight into the house without knocking and a drink was thrust into their hands by a butler whose costume had no back side. Vivian felt more at ease knowing she wasn’t the only one showing more than a pound of flesh.
‘Cute buns,’ she said softly, and Edward gave her an enquiring look.
Knowing he had specifically asked her not to embarrass him, she followed in his wake, sipping her drink.
‘EDWARD!’ came a booming voice from across the room. ‘So glad you could make it Dahling. And who is this?’
‘I’m Vivian,’ she said offering her hand.
‘How delightful! Come, come! You must meet everyone!’
Edward smiled encouragingly as Vivian whispered ‘How did he know it was you?’ before being led away to be introduced to some of the other guests.
How he hated these parties but it was important for the next takeover he had in mind.
He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to face an old enemy………………..

Paula Light’s contribution;

Vivian had been in a lot of sketchy situations and prided herself on keeping her cool, but this house was downright freaky and giving her the shivers. She was definitely not going to take a sip of the weird green, glowing drink and discreetly put it down on an end table as Edward continued chatting with a blond man dressed as a Viking, from the waist up anyway. From the waist down, the Viking was dressed in… nothing. Wait! She recognized that guy! OMG, it was Mr. Jensen, her math teacher from high school. What was mild-mannered, nerdy Mr. J doing at this bizarre party? And who knew he had such a big–

“Scuse me!” Vivian was shoved into the wall by a rude woman dressed as Cruella Deville, complete with a little stuffed Dalmatian clutched in her arms. “Some of us need to use the restroom.”

Rubbing her aching shoulder, Vivian followed Cruella to the restroom in an attempt to get away from Mr. J. He’d surely recognize her because of that prank she and her friends pulled at the end of senior year. She only hoped Edward wouldn’t get angry that she’d left the main room. She stood at the sink running cold water on her wrists in an attempt to calm herself.

“Are you spying on me?” Cruella yelled. She shook her stuffed dog at Vivian and made a growling sound.

Vivian met the other woman’s gaze in the mirror. “No. I’m just–“

“You’re just the type of sexy idiot my husband would hire to spy on me,” Cruella said. “But we’re going to turn the tables on him. This is how things are going to go down tonight…”

This was started by Marla and to be continued, I hope, by Barbara at Teleporting Weena if she decides to do this, but if she wants to restrain from responding to this tag, I am issuing her a Get Out Of A Tag Free Card and then I will look for someone else to continue the story.

Unwritten Love Story

Fantasy reading romance novel book
Image credit to Jim Warren

Words left unsaid
Float like a wish, drifting
Through layers of time.
Our physical bindings
Unravel so shaggily
Toward the inevitable end,
While we dream
Of perfected bliss depicted
On another page of existence.
This unwritten love story,
Belonging only to each other,
Shifts the arc of perspective,
With each chapter unfolding
Like an endless gift.
In one possible world,
Swirls of invisible ink
Materialize into being.
We understand
This book is unavailable
In this particular
Locality of actuality;
Nevertheless, the longing
Persists,
A faint mist
Between the lines.

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Thursday Thinkies

Cat world planet space stars

Rory @ Earthly Comforts snuck some new questions at the end of his Wild Aloha post yesterday, but I found ‘em, grabbed ‘em, and now I’m gonna answer ‘em. So there!

Should we all live a life that others may not understand because of the uniquity of who we are or should we all conform to the norm?

Well, that depends on exactly what “norm” we’re taking about. If you want to drop out of college and go live alone in the woods, OK. If you want to give up a high paying job to paint rocks, sure, fine, as long as you don’t have children to support. If you want to stay single and avoid dating when everyone is urging you to “try again,” you should be allowed to do that too and be left in peace.

But if you want to engage in any criminal activity, that’s a big no from me, whatever your “feelings” are about laws, politics, government, whatever, and how you, as a unique snowflake, should be exempt.

Thumbs down

What do you think are the five main components to living a healthy happy life?

For me personally they are: money (basics plus extras), family (good relationships), friends (ditto), creative activities, and a safe environment.

What do you think is the best colour to paint your main living space and why that colour? What benefits does it award you?

I like mostly neutral colors in the main area and a more creative aura in my bedroom with jungle colors like gold and green. Soon I’ll put some of my silly paintings up in my room!

Paint selfie cactus sunset

What do you consider absolutely pointless in life?

Watching sports, though sometimes I do it to be sociable.

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Complaint Department

Irvine sunset traffic driving

I haven’t been doing the new WPDP, but this question struck my fancy.

What do you complain about the most?

Can you guess from the image? No, I’m not mad at the sunset! In general, I dislike driving and find it stressful, though when I was young and dumb I found it fun and relaxing. I guess I wasn’t thinking too much about accident stats when I was 16. Also, I live in Southern California now, where traffic is hideous 24/7. Even in the middle of the night when roads are somewhat clear you have to worry about some drunken idiot going the wrong way and smashing into you head-on.

I dislike dealing with car maintenance, tires, insurance, all that crap. In Chicago, I didn’t own a car, and it was bliss ~ but they had excellent public transportation at the time. I hate parking (because I suck at it), backing out of my spot, and driving in parking lots, since people are ruder and more dangerous in lots. I hate having to stress about parking when I visit my daughter in Los Angeles.

Other drivers are at best inconsiderate and at times downright terrifying. I freak out at bicyclists and pedestrians because I never know if they’ll do something crazy and veer in front of me. I can’t stand driving over bridges, through tunnels, in fog or rain, and at night with people’s brights stabbing my eyeballs. But unfortunately driving and car ownership is a necessity here…

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

A Nice Place to Live [fpq]

Fountain Valley

Today Fandango continues his Provocative Question series by asking about our city or town. I live in Fountain Valley, California, which is an Orange County suburb. It is located about 40 miles south of Los Angeles and 90 miles north of San Diego. As of the last census in 2020, our population is about 57,000, mostly non-Hispanic white and Asian.

We are near the beach, but we don’t actually touch the coastline ~ you have to go through Newport Beach or Huntington Beach to surf the closest waves. Not that I’ve ever surfed! Sometimes I enjoy a beach walk though ~ I think this pic is from Crystal Cove in Laguna.

beach ocean sand surf waves rocks

We have a giant park in FV, called Mile Square, and it’s pretty for a walk too. In the summer, there are fairs and concerts, plus we are relatively close to the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa ~ I usually go to the OC Fair at least once each year. Coyotes also enjoy this area, and there are endless squabbles over whether we should kill them… or no! They were here first! I don’t have a dog in that fight, tee hee, so I don’t care. It’s very freeing not to feel obligated to have an opinion about everything. Try it!

FV is a nice place to live, bland and quiet, just like its slogan, which I like because I’ve turned into a vanilla girl in my dotage. I used to love big cities, but now all I notice is how noisy and dirty they are. Still, there are things cities offer, like fabulous museums, you can’t find here. My daughter lives in LA, so I do go up there around once a month.

Pink clouds
Fountain Valley, CA

I enjoyed living in Huntington Beach, where my girls went to school, since it’s more of a city, but when it became too expensive I moved to Costa Mesa. After they raised my rent a ridiculous amount at my studio apartment, a friend and I decided to share a place. We moved into our 2+2 condo in Fountain Valley just before the pandemic hit. After a year or so, the owner wanted to sell, so we bought the place and exited the SoCal rental nightmare. I’m very happy with my current living situation in Fountain Valley, which is good because I hate moving!

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

January 2023 Stats

stats graph

My stats zoomed up last month, though my posting style and quantity stayed about the same. Maybe peeps decided to dedicate themselves to blogging as a New Year’s resolution? Who knows.

In December, I had 6,723 views, and in January I had 7,895, a 17% increase. As of 12/31/22, I had 610 peeps following me, and as of 1/31/23 there were 664, which is a 9% increase (remember, I delete followers if they don’t seem like “real bloggers”). My follower count peaked in 2021 before I did my blog refresh and purge of fake and nonexistent followers… and I’ll get back there eventually, maybe.

My most popular post in January was New Dawnings with 156 views, followed by California Rain with 135. By far, most people viewed my blog via the WP reader.

I sold one book in January, which seems to be my new pattern, and all I have to say to that is one is better than none. Yayyy book buyers! I appreciate you.

Click here to find my books for sale, thank you.

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Revelation

misty mountains lake moon fog

Revelation’s light
Floats softly in the quiet
Mist of eggshell dawn

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Haiku written for Moonwashed Musings Weekly Prompt 128.

One-Liner Wednesday

Tiger couple in roses

“A good marriage is one where each partner secretly suspects they got the better deal.” ~ author unknown

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Random Rumblings

Storm lightning thunder purple

Demonic rumblings
Rainy skies conceal secrets
The dead stay quiet
Worms spill out of softened earth
A cold finger reaches up

~*~
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Tanka written for Word Craft Poetry’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge 305 where we choose at least three of the 100 random words (mine: demonic rainy dead spill finger).